What are “Stone-Cold Nuts,” anyway?

Writing is a gamble. Falling in love is a gamble. A step into the Deschutes River is a gamble. So is driving across a bridge; just ask any gephyrophobe.

We gamble that the pilot hasn’t enjoyed a martini lunch before stepping into the cockpit; that our mechanic really knows his way around a brake pad and we won’t careen to an untimely death during a scenic driving tour of Mount Hood; that she really means it when she says “I love you.”

You see where I’m going with this.

Everything in life has an element of chance. That’s why actual gambling — poker, slots, craps, blackjack — can possess metaphoric value for a writer. Or at least for this writer.

You win. You lose. You split the pot. But every so often you come up with the stone-cold nuts, a hand no one can beat. At the poker table, this occurs with a degree of regularity. In life, maybe not so much. That’s why we savor those occasional moments of triumph, the rare moments when Lady Luck bestows a fortuitous break, those moments when we feel – when we actually are – unbeatable.



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